Swarms of bees hampered rescue efforts at the scene of a fatal wreck in Minnesota on Monday after they escaped from the damaged tractor-trailer that was hauling them, state highway patrol said.

One person was confirmed dead in the crash, which involved the bee truck, another tractor-trailer and two passenger vehicles, highway patrol spokesman Lt. Eric Roeske said.

Some first responders were stung as they reached the scene of the wreck on Interstate 35 in Lakeville, about 20 miles south of Minneapolis, Roeske said.

Firefighters were misting the air with fire hoses in an effort to keep the bees away more than three hours after the crash, he said.

What the bees add to this tragedy on the highway is the element of surrealism.